Cork Cricket: Harlequins win derby with County as action returns to the Mardyke

Cork Cricket: Harlequins win derby with County as action returns to the Mardyke
Spectators watch the action from the stands during the friendly match at the Kia Oval recently. Action return to the Mardyke last Sunday.

PREMIER Division cricket returned last Sunday at the Mardyke and what a game to mark occasion between Cork County and Cork Harlequins. 

The County were always going to be favourites due to them playing at home and also adding four new players to their squad. 

Quins had also acquired Aaron Cawley and Murtaza Sidiqi prior to the season so their chances were improved but no one could have foreseen the events that transpired at around 7pm that evening. 

The home side won the toss and batted first which was a good move as Rudolph Pollard (39) and Abubakar Saddique (37) got their side off to a flyer, smashing 62 off the power play. 

It was an incredible start but the downside was that the intent had to be maintained to ensure that the first six overs were capitalised on. 

Quins fought back well in the middle overs with only Zubair Shah, who hit 25, being the only one who continued the momentum gathered in the beginning of the innings. 

Luke O'Reilly finished with three wickets, Aaron Cawley and Seanan Jones grabbed two a piece but the 144 total was a competitive one for Quins to chase in the second innings. 

Matthew Brewster got his side off to the best possible start by hitting four consecutive fours off the first four balls he faced. 

He fell along with his fellow opener before the power play ended but a score in the early forties got their side the start they needed. 

Skipper Ru Jones (25) and Seanan Jones (22) then brought their side within 60 of victory but the both feel quickly leaving the middle order to continue the assault. 

Disaster struck when Cawley and Kieran O’Reilly both departed without scoring and the home side had the game in the bag if they could bowl to their sweepers and not let the Quins batters get underneath them. 

Joe Hourihan (14 not out) and Cormac McCarthy-Hann came to the crease needing 12 runs per over off the last three to get across the line. 

The former played the anchor role but the latter had the innings of his life as he struck 32 off 19 deliveries, including five 4s. 

He saved his best for last as Quins needed 5 runs off four balls to win. Hourihan flapped at the 4th last ball and missed. 

He then got a single to get McCarthy-Hann on strike needing 4 off two balls to secure the win. He got the ball away for a boundary and celebrations ensued by the Harlequins players and supporters. 

It was a great advert for the game, played in a great spirit but both sides have to overcome tricky fixtures against Midleton this week to seal a place in the semi-finals on the August Bank Holiday Monday.

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